Cole Sorenson Special to the News Gazette
This past weekend Western Speedway played host to the Island Batteries Night at the Races, featuring the Keg Late Model Series Twin 50 lap main events, as well as the Galaxy Motors Stock Cars, Mini Stocks and Marlin Motors Hornets.
The start of the first Twin 50 saw Phil Lagan and Bud Hobbs lead the field to the green. Lagan would lead early on in the main, before being passed by the No. 52 car of Geoff Morris.
Shaun Ross and Wade Bland tangled on lap 18, which brought out the caution flag and sending both drivers to the back. On the ensuing restart, Dave Hemrich snatched the lead away from Morris, and went on to win his first main event in two years.
The second Twin 50 had Mike Soppitt and Shaun Ross on the front row for the start. Soppitt would get an early advantage, with Bland tearing through the field to reach second place.
Bland made his move on lap 18, charging ahead of Soppitt. With only nine laps to go and looking set for another win, the engine on Bland’s No. 07 car went away, forcing him to pull into the pits and handing the lead over to Aaron Wilkie.
Wilkie raced to his second main event win of the season, but Bland still managed to earn enough points to be crowned the 2016 season champion in the Late Models.
Other winners on the night:
Late Models – Heat race 1: Geoff Morris; heat race 2: M. Soppitt
Galaxy Motors Stock Cars – Dash: Brendan Moore; heat, feature main: Tyler Robinson
Mini Stocks – Trophy dash: Sean Constantine; heat race: Caleb Van Bree; feature main: Ryan Patterson
Marlin Motors Hornets – Trophy dash, heat race 1: Ashley Creed; heat race 2, feature main: Jason Day
This Saturday (Aug. 27) the smell of diesel will be in the air, as the ground-pounding NABRA Big Rigs take to the track. The trucks will be joined on the card by the demo cars and trucks, mini figure 8s, bombers, claimers and Capital Drifters.
The grandstands open to fans at 4:30 p.m., qualifying is at 5:30, Fan Fest is at 6:00 (time permitting) and racing at 6:30. Visit westernspeedway.net for more information.